Monday, March 19, 2012

After a long winter slumber

I noticed my lovely daffodil tips showing the other day.  Next to our driveway we have a not very sunny, not very grassy, forgotten strip of property.  But I planted bulbs in there many years ago.  Every March now, for about 3 weeks' time, it's a pretty cheery yellow path.  We usually get enough for me to cut some for the kitchen table as well. 

It doesn't look like much in this photo above, but... you can see what I noticed this year for the first time.  Each clump of bulbs makes a mound as it grows.  The plants literally move the earth as they make their way up to the light. 

You see the turf lifted right up?  Amazing.  I never thought of a few daffodil shoots as being so strong, did you?

I'm not sure what I thought happened to spring bulbs  Did I think there was a ready made hole in the dirt for them to tunnel through?  Surely they wouldn't have to pave a new course every single year, right?  Or wrong?

I am going through a few life changes at the moment.  (No, not that change)  All at once I am

choosing to be educated and choosing to be healthier 

all the while being "on the front lines" (as my friend once described this very busy stage of life with kids).

You know my path to going back to school.  Hardest decision ever.  Still hard, even though I've begun.

A few things prompting my healthy-ish decision.
First of all, my sister's mother-in-law made similar changes.  I admire and respect her, and I started to wonder if I could do it. 
Second, my son Bugs started doing the Wii Fit daily and I was so proud of him that I wondered if I should join in. 
Third, my post-gall-bladder-removal body was starting to have more annoying degestion side effects than normal (not fun).  I thought making a few changes could only help.

Now please don't think I'm going all crazy fitness or anything.  I don't want to mislead anybody.  I'm merely being more careful and moving my body every day. 

Some of it has been harder than expected. 

*When I sit down to read or study, everyone needs me.  Simultaneously.
*I got 4/5 on my first quiz in Anthropology.  I expected 5/5.
*I still don't drink enough water.
*I hate exercising.  Does that part ever get better?  But I'm afraid if I miss a day then I will find it easy to miss another.  And another.
*I never knew how much mental energy it took to make better food choices.  I feel like I spend half my day thinking about food.
*I love to bake.  Sadly, I don't want too much stuff around here so I haven't made any goodies for 2 weeks.  My family isn't thrilled.
*What was I thinking trying to do all this at once in the middle of kids in lots of sports and hubby coaching two teams and church duties and all?  Not to mention, I just bought girl scout cookies!

Did I think there was already an easy path to the light?  Do I have to make my own tunnels?  Yes!  Pushing up through the soil is TOUGH!

Some of it has been better than I could imagine.

*I feel the spirit strongly when I study.
*I am always getting encouraging comments from my sisters to keep me going.
*I look forward to time with my books.
*I am more confident.
*Most of my cravings were only tough for the first week; the second week I could actually take a couple bites of a dessert and not want more.
*I can tell when my body is actually hungry.
*Food tastes SO much better when your taste buds aren't all messed up.
*I feel physically strong - and it's only been 2 weeks.
*My endurance has already increased.
*My back pain is gone.
*I sleep more soundly.
*My digestion issues have settled down.
*I still had a Shamrock Shake last week (and it was worth it).

And most importantly to me at this time, my mind is clearer.  I can focus more easily.  After a long winter slumber I am beginning to feel the warmth of the blessings of living the Word of Wisdom more fully. 

I'm beginning to understand what I have read many times in the Doctrine and Covenants:

“All saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;

President Ezra Taft Benson helps us see an even bigger picture.

"The temporal promise for obedience is: They “shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; … [they] shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.” (D&C 89:18, 20.)

I have always felt, however, that the greater blessing of obedience to the Word of Wisdom and all other commandments is spiritual.

Listen to the spiritual promise: “All saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, … shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures.” (D&C 89:18, 19; italics added.)

Some have thought this promise was contingent on just keeping the provisions of the Word of Wisdom. But you will notice we must walk in obedience to all the commandments. Then we shall receive specific spiritual promises. This means we must obey the law of tithing, keep the Sabbath day holy, keep morally clean and chaste, and obey all other commandments.

When we do all this, the promise is: They “shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures.” (D&C 89:19.)

What father and mother would not want the inspiration of the Lord in rearing their children? I testify these blessings can be yours. Surely parents would not want, through disobedience, to prevent their children from receiving the Lord’s blessings. All fathers and mothers in Israel should qualify themselves for this promise.

Living the commandments of God is a condition of worthiness for entrance into the House of the Lord. There wisdom and “great treasures of knowledge” are given that relate to our happiness in this life and joy throughout eternity."

So you see, the timing of these changes is the biggest blessing I could have right now - at the moment I need it most.  My Father in Heaven gave me promptings to change and strength to do so just when I need the greater mental capacity.  When I need the increased physical capacity.  When I need the heightened spiritual capacity.

Thanks for listening to my newly exposed vulnerability. I wanted to get my feelings recorded so they will eventually become a source of strength.  I'm thankful for the multitude of blessings I get to enjoy and for my family I get to enjoy them with. 


  1. Jen, you are so amazing! School IS hard, especially with kids! I only had 2 when I was finishing up. I can't imagine school with 5 kids! I've been working on eating healthier for awhile now, and it's hard! I'm trying to get into the exercise mode, but my body doesn't like it very much. :)

  2. You just expressed soooo many of the same thoughts I have. Maybe that is why we are friends :) Nothing in life seems to get just changes. It is a new kind of tough, every day :)

  3. WOW, (and not like I didn't already know this, but) you are SO amazing! I just heard of a brand new book that I really want to read called "The Lean" (don't remember the author). It looks really really good, has lots of SIMPLE healthy steps to take that eventually just push out the bad habits. Also, my sister always makes some cute, motivating little work out calendars that have made it fun for me to keep up the exercising. I could easily email it to you every month if you'd like! :] Good luck, if ANYONE can take on all these things at once, it's YOU!!

  4. I love you forever and a day! Thank you for a wonderful reflective post. Makes me think.

  5. Jen, I am always so proud of you. You have always been such a wonderful example to all of us. I am so proud of you for going to school, I know its something that you have always wanted to conquer and I am so proud of you for doing it..especially now. It is so awesome that you are working so hard on exercising and eating, what a neat life change you are making. I will need that motiviation come this summer :) Love and admire you.

  6. Hi Jen. I found your blog while searching out "living the Word of Wisdom more fully". I read a statement by Pres Hinckley once where he said he wished we as a people would do that
    I am very interested also in many of the things you have commented on and have come to a strong belief that the Lord has indeed provided a way for us to set the destroying angel at bay.
    Would love to discuss these things with you.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!